You’re in shock and you’re scared, your loved one has been arrested and you don’t know how to help. Prepare yourself and your family member to the best of your ability by taking a few preliminary steps.
- Identify the Charges
When your loved one calls you, ask him or her to identify the charges being brought and where they are being held. Stop your loved one before they discuss the case in detail, as phone calls from jails or prisons are typically recorded.
- Contact an Attorney
Those without an attorney will be appointed one by the court. If you can afford it, consider hiring a private attorney with expertise in the type of crime your loved one has been accused of committing. Whether you hire your own attorney or go with the one appointed, be in contact with your loved one’s attorney. Calling early in the morning or at lunchtime will give you the best chance of actually speaking to the attorney since they are often in court much of the day.
- Assist with Bail
If you are in a position to do so, you can post bail for your loved one. Financially this can be difficult or impossible for many families, considering Washington County bail bonds can assist your loved one in his or her time of need. In the event that your loved one is released on bail, support him or her with a shoulder to lean on or an ear to listen.
- Attend Court Appearances
Support your loved one by being present for court appearances. Seeing friends and family in court can really boost a prisoner’s spirits. Let your friend or family member know you are behind them by appearing in court for as many proceedings as possible.
- Provide Continued Support
Stay in touch with your loved one while he or she is going through the legal system. Let him or her know you are there and keep in touch with the appointed attorney as well. Follow the case as closely as possible to stay updated on possible court or release dates.
If you are new to dealing with the arrest of a close friend or family member, it can be extremely overwhelming to try to understand how to best support that person. By being aware of the charges brought, being in contact with the appropriate attorney, assisting with bail and showing up in court, you can make a world of difference to your loved one.